William Gifford to Edward Copleston (6/24/1811)

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William Gifford to Edward Copleston
June 24, 1811
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Devon 1149M/F92. Date at top: June 24, 1811


June 24th. 1811


My dear Sir,

You are, by this time, I presume so involved in business & bustle, that I ought "to make it religion," as my old friend Ben1 says, to trouble you.

I now see land; the whole of the Review is printed & I think that we shall be out by Saturday.2 After all, our northern metaphysician has failed us; I have yet but two thirds of his article; and was obliged to tell him that I could wait no longer—He is turned over to the next No. & I do not much regret it, as we shall have some leisure to look at him. He writes so vile a hand, that I must have him set up before I can pretend to read him. Heber thinks, from what he has seen, that he makes too free with Jeffrey.3

I thank you for your caution respecting H. Drummond—I lament more than ever that I listened to him at all, but our correspondence is at an end. You are right with respect to his m.s. It was returned at his pressing entreaties; but I carefully obliterated every pencil mark, and every marginal hint—leaving, unfortunately, the excellent conclusion which I flattered myself that he would profit by modestly & in silence. The work of which you speak, I have not read, nor has any one else, as far as I can find.

I shall be glad to get Lord Charlemont as soon as possible;4 as I must steal out of town for a short time to inhale the sea-breeze at my old watering place, Ryde, in the Isle of Wight. Do you think that your friend could find leisure or inclination as to amuse himself with the voluminous correspondence of Miss Seward. Her petulance, vanity, affectation of political wisdom, with her occasional glimmerings of good sense and taste might, in his hands, produce a very interesting Article. Mr Davison I look upon as sure for our next No.5

And now to the point? I earnestly hope that you will find a leisure moment for Ensor.6 Haec ego non credam &c.? Yes, yes, he is worthy of your lamp. His impudence, "as the great Milton says, subdues my patience."7

The anonymous writer of our Article on Gifford's Life of Pitt tells me, in a note, that he thinks the Review of Whitaker the most complete piece of Latin criticism he ever read.8

Our publisher (Murray) is [tear] ambitious of succeeding to the [tear] our of Bookseller to the Univ[tear]y in the room of Mackinley. If he be thought of—thus far I can say, that his zeal and activity are very great, and that I know no man so well calculated to extend the sale of any book intrusted to him. I have had miserable experience of the indolence of booksellers; and some of my friends, who have also felt it, have taken their works to Murray, of whom they speak well. Perhaps, too, his connection with us, gives him some advantage with respect to Continental intercourse.

Ever my dear Sir,

yours most faithfully

Wm. Gifford.


Address: same

Postmark: June 24, 1811